Dear Partner in Preaching,
Too soon. This reading, I mean. It comes too soon. We have, after all, just celebrated Christmas. If your Christmas Eve was anything like mine, it was filled with songs about the “holy infant so tender and mild” and the “little town of Bethlehem” that sheltered him. The story you heard was most likely Luke’s depiction of a young mother giving birth to her firstborn child and angels greeting shepherd with words of peace on earth and good will to all. It was, I’m sure, a beautiful and hope-filled evening and celebration.
Which is what makes the transition to this harrowing reading from...